ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLBT. 61 Science, which searches after the cause of every phenomenon in its effects, certainly deprives it of its marvellous character, and perhaps also of a part of its charm., in. the eyes of those who are only able to gaze, and not to examine. But in Humboldt, the first emotion of nature, and the penetrating, inquiring mind for the natural reasons and laws of every appearance, are united in a higher, harmonious character, and tlie first impression on his feelings is always succeeded by *tlie clear insight of the naturalist. Huxnboldt relinquished his formerly cherished in- tention of visiting the Eastern branches of the Cor- dilleras in iSTew Granada, as he would no longer delay Ms journey to the Orinocco, for Ms chief purpose now was to explore the junction of that river with the Hio Negro and the Amazon. On the 6th March he left the valleys of Araguay, with his companion, to continue his wanderings in the steppes, whose pecu- liarity, in contradistinction to the African steppes, he has especially treated. He crossed the prairies, plains overgrown with gigantic grasses, in which many a jaguar lies concealed, and which no shade refreshes, as the palm tree growing here is parched, and almost leafless. Humboldt inquired here into the breeding of horses and horned cattle, of which large herds live on those desert spots, and whose export is an impor- tant trade for the seaports on the coast. Over Cala- bosso their way lay through the deserts of the llanos of Caracas, wfxere Humboldt found a new subject for inquiry in the gyrnnotes,—the electric fish. The waters near Oalabosso, which flow into the Ormocco, and the marshes, were filled with these electric eels, and Humboldt saw, at the same time, the peculiar manner of catching them by means of horses, some of whom were drowned. The eels attached themselves to the horse's belly, and stunned them, by their elec trie shocks; so that a real fight on horseback had to be waged with these animals until they ware exhausted, am! had to collect new galvanic power, and those stunned horses, which had escaped drowning, restored.